King Crimson

Lizard - Island Records 1971

Tracks: 1. Cirkus / 2. Indoor Games / 3. Happy Family / 4. Lady of the Dancing Water / 5. Lizard: Prince Rupert Awakes/Bolero: The Peacock's Tale/The Battle of Glass Tears / Big Top


"Lizard" is King Crimson's third album, originally released in 1971. Although there had been some lineup changes, not least the departure of lead-singer Greg Lake, most of the original King Crimson psychedelia sound remains intact.

The new singer Gordon Haskell can glimpsewise sound like Peter Gabriel, and when instrumentation on several tracks is very similar to Genesis, you'll easily come to think this group in their heyday.

Lyricist Pete Sinfield is still with the group and the lyrical themes are still influenced by medieval romance. Musically some songs are relatively easy to go to, being both melodic and fairly subdued - this kind of numbers have always been my favorites in the group.

Both "Circus" and "Indoor Games" belong to this category - fine numbers, which both challenge and please; not least with a very melodious acoustic guitar. "Happy Family" is somewhat harder to go to; fortunately this track is relatively short, while the subdued "Lady of the Dancing Water" is almost "folk"; with its acoustic instrumentation - very much Genesis style here.

The long "Lizard" suite, which originally formed side two of the album, begins beautifully with a guest appearance of Jon Anderson of Yes, handling the lead-vocals. This piece, "Prince Rupert Awakes", is one of the album's highlights; actually it's a shame of you can not hear this number seperately from the rest of "Lizard" which can be rather tough listening; not least the final part with some extreme saxphone sounds.

The sound is generally great, and as mentioned before, the acoustic guitars sound crisp and clear - sheer pleasure.

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